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The Little Sailor Outfit

Sewing Tutorial for How to Make a Sailor Collar

*no pattern required*

How to Sew a Little Sailor outfit.

 The sailor dress is a classic look for little girls--in 19th century Japan, when the country introduced uniforms in schools, a sailor dress was the traditional outfit for girls. Now, you can make this simple variant on the look and a matching dress for your doll! Included below are directions for making the skirt--which is high-waisted and made from thick elastic and gathered fabric, the sailor collar--which you can adorn with rick-rack, the doll dress, and the doll flip-flops. Shown in the picture is one of our youngest student sewers, Masy. Have fun!

Tutorial for how to sew or make a sailor collar embellished with lace or rick-rack.

The Sailor Collar

With this project you will learn how to draft your own pattern, what a facing is, and how to zig-zag appliqué rickrack or lace to adorn your collar.

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How to make your own sailor collar pattern for sewing.

Making the Sailor Collar Pattern:

Measure the width of your back. Subtract four inches. This is the width of the collar. 

Measure the length of your back, from lower neck to lower back. This is the length of the collar.

Draw a rectangle on tracing paper using these dimensions. 

Fold half way across the width your rectangle. This divides your pattern in half horizontally and marks the front of the collar from the back. 

Draw a half oval from the fold line to the outer edge. 

Fold half way across the length of your rectangle. This divides your pattern in half vertically. Cut your pattern along this line, and throw away one side. 

Measure 3 1/4” from outer edge at horizontal line and mark. Tip: if you have a wider back, add a half inch or more. 

From this mark, sketch by eye the curve at the front of the collar. It should end at a point at the edge of the top. Draw a line across the rest of your fold. 

Cut out around your lines. On inner, un-curved edge, write “place on fold.”  

How to make your own sailor collar pattern for sewing.

Making the Collar:

Pin and cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of fusible (iron-on) interfacing, using your pattern as a guide. Remember not to cut your fold line. 

Tutorial for how to sew or make a sailor collar embellished with lace or rick-rack. Apply interfacing to the wrong side of one piece of fabric following the manufactures guide.

On your interfaced fabric, pin trimming (lace, rickrack, etc.) one inch away from the raw edge, all the way around.

Tutorial for how to sew or make a sailor collar embellished with lace or rick-rack. Stitch. Tip: if your trimming is wide, use a zigzag stitch. 
Pin the pretty sides of the fabric together for the sailor collar. With right sides together, match your two matter pieces together and pin around the raw edges. Leave an opening at the collar’s center bottom. Stitch using a 3/8” seam allowance (the pressure foot edge). 
Hand sew the opening of the sailor collar closed. Trim seam and clip corners.

Turn your collar right side out through your opening. Poke corners and iron down. 

Blind-stitch by hand your opening closed. 

Tutorial for how to sew or make a sailor collar embellished with lace or rick-rack. Whip-stitch together your two front collar points. If you so desire, you may hand-stitch  on a decorative nautical button here. 
Tutorial for how to sew or make a sailor collar embellished with lace or rick-rack.

How to Sew a Little Girl's Sailor Outfit including a thick elastic waistband skirt and a cute little sailor collar.

Anchors Away My Friend..., Your adorable sailor collar is finished! Now you can make the matching easy-to-sew, thick elastic waistband one side seam sailor skirt!


Wear these with your favorite top and a cute pair of sandals to finish a cool summer sailor look.



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